The job search can feel overwhelming, so it’s helpful to break it into manageable steps. The good news is you don’t have to do every step in order – use this resource as a guide. Start checking off as many of these activities as you can, and you’ll find yourself on the way to a great opportunity.
Step 1: Know yourself and Do your research
- I have identified my personal strengths, skills, interests, and values, fields of interest/possible jobs, and/or specific careers
- I have researched organizations or companies that might hire someone with my skills, interests, and background, and I have researched potential career fields: typical entry-level jobs, typical salaries, best geographic location for jobs, etc.
- I have identified the top three geographic areas where I’d like to live and work.
- I have identified realistic potential employers for the type of work I’m seeking.
Step 2: Get ready for the search
- I have made an appointment to meet with a Career Counselor.
- I have had my resume and cover letter(s) reviewed by a professional in the field or a staff member at Career Services.
- I have prepared a portfolio or work samples to highlight my experience, skills, and talent.
- I have developed my “30-second speech” for short encounters with employers. (How?)
- I have analyzed my education and developed my “liberal arts story” for employers. (How?)
- I have identified three individuals who will serve as references. (How?)
- I have developed my interview skills by practicing my responses to typical questions and/or doing a mock interview. (How?)
- I have an interview suit that is appropriate for the field in which I plan to work. (How?)
- I have a professional-sounding answering machine/voice mail message in case an employer calls.
- I have neutral/professional e-mail address to give to employers.
Step 3: Start searching
- I regularly check the Career Services web site for career opportunities. I read the appropriate job-search resources for my field(s) of interest.
- I have a system for keeping track of my contacts, interviews, and other job-search activities.
- I follow up on every interesting job link immediately.
- I have developed a list of potential networking contacts and keep in touch with them.
- I keep a copy of my resume next to my phone in case I receive a call from an employer.
- I follow-up each cover letter with a phone call or e-mail.
- I send thank you letters or e-mails to every person who interviews me.
Adapted with permission from Dr. Kate Brooks, Liberal Arts Career Services, The University of Texas at Austin.